Government denies involvement in attack on Manuel Delia's website

Blogger files police report, says Ukrainian hackers used

The spike in requests to the site last Thursday.

The spike in requests to the site last Thursday.

Updated 5.53pm with government denial - The government on Monday afternoon denied any involvement in an attack on blogger Manuel Delia's website.

Mr Delia said earlier he had filed a report to the police Cyber Crime Unit after his website was taken down by what he said were Ukrainian hackers "probably funded" by the Maltese government.

The government said it 'strongly denies any involvement' on the alleged cyber-attack.

"This allegation from Mr Manuel Delia is totally unfounded," it added.

Mr Delia's site was first down on May 16, after what is known as a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, where multiple compromised systems are used to target a single server with multiple requests.

Mr Delia said that at one point, his website was hit with around 70 million requests, prompting a site crash.

After filing a report after the initial attack, he went to the Żurrieq police station on Sunday after his website was attacked again on Saturday. The site was back online on Monday. 

Engineers working on said the bulk of the attack was sourced to Ukraine, adding they had only seen the attack on such a great scale on Daphne Caruana Galizia's website, Mr Delia said.

The scale of the attack suggests a professional job

Speaking to Times of Malta, Mr Delia said he believed the attacks were "very likely funded, motivated and commissioned by the Maltese government".

"The scale of the attack suggests a professional job," he said, noting that it was difficult to prove who ordered the attack.

These kinds of security breaches are orchestrated in such a way that it would be difficult to prove who ordered the attack, Mr Delia added, saying the Cyber Crime Unit was his "only point of call".

He said he had also reported a Twitter attack to the unit before, with the Cyber Crime Unit reverting back a few days later to tell him they were unable to determine the source of the attack. 

Times Talk: 'Thinking I could ever match Daphne is preposterous,' says Manuel Delia

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